Olawunmi Omotoyinbo is a Graduate of Communication from the Ogun state polytechnic now Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta She served as an Information Officer at the Lagos State Ministry of Information during her NYSC year. Her work experience spans the Telecoms and Media Industries including stints as a Clients Service Executive at Multi Choice, and as a Media Aide to the MD at Siemens Nigeria.
Her Passion for cooking and ability to create exciting culinary delights led to her veering into the Catering Services Industry leading to the setting up of SaladChops Catering and Events Company in 2010.
SaladChops Catering Services is a full fledged Food Services outfit with a proven track record of prompt and efficient delivery of high quality nutritious meals for a wide range of Private and Corporate clients. The organization prides itself as a foremost Food Hospitality Company with variety, flexibility and timeliness as it’s main assets, having executed numerous events for top notch Corporate and high profile Private Clients.
SaladChops is also into Kitchen Management in the Health Sector and presents provides that service for a Major Teaching Hospital and a highly respected Private Hospital.
The Company over the years has evolved into a Total Events Solutions Outfit providing value added services like Event planning, Decorations, Security, Logistics, Drinks, Ushers and Venue Sourcing for a complete, well rounded and extremely professional and value driven service delivery for Clients
In this Interview with Oyinlola Sale, Olawunmi Omotoyinbo tells us how her Catering business, SaladChops grew into becoming an Events Company as well.
SaladChops first started as a Catering outfit and then expanded into events. Tell us the story behind that journey?
Yes initially we were a purely a Catering Outfit concentrating only on that aspect. As we continued to grow we realised that it was important to evolve into a Total Events Solution Company because some clients didn’t want to have to deal with various suppliers for one event so the smart move was to become a one stop shop for our clients for all their event needs and that evolution has worked very well for us.
How did SaladChops grow to become a business that caters for Hospitals as Kitchen Managers?
Well somewhere along the line, an opportunity to manage the Kitchen for a Teaching Hospital presented itself through an open bidding process. We sent in a proposal, got invited to pitch alongside other catering outfits and thankfully we were selected by the panel. Since then, we’ve tried our best to provide quality service which led to a recommendation by someone and the Private Hospital then invited us for discussions which went well and we got that Kitchen Management Contract as well. This involves providing 3 meals a day for the in patients at the Hospitals which is very challenging but thankfully we’ve been able to deliver to the satisfaction of our clients.
The Events Industry has evolved from what it was 20 years ago. How did it inspire the creation of SaladChops?
Well, like I said earlier, we started out as a purely Catering Outfit. This was at the encouragement of my husband who always believed I should become an entrepreneur and really pushed me and supported me right from the start. I have always been a good cook, thanks to my mum and it was something I enjoyed doing. It was a case of turning a Passion into a Profession. At the time I started in 2010, the Events Industry was already becoming a very focused, engaged and creative one. Naturally we had to move with the times and delve into the other aspects of the industry so as to stay relevant and competitive.
SaladChops is a company that has many branches from Catering to Event Planning. How do you combine the two?
We had to learn to Multi Task. Catering and Events are intertwined and ability to deliver on both aspects enhances your ability to compete. We’ve had clients who live abroad and only wanted to deal with a one stop shop for all their event needs. For such clients you have to be able to deliver on both fronts and I believe we are able to do that effectively.
The Event Industry sees a daily increase in the number of players. In what ways does SaladChops stand out?
Yes it is a highly competitive field with many competent players. Our key words for business success are Quality and Consistency. We try at all times to deliver Quality service to our clients on a Consistent basis. That has helped us to build pedigree and trust from our clients and has also endeared us to new clients. I believe this is what stands us out.
Was there ever a time you stumbled on a road block that made you feel like giving up? How did you overcome that situation?
To be honest, so far there hasn’t been any major stumbling block. My husband who is an entrepreneur as well prepared my mind by telling me at the start that stumbling blocks are just stepping stones to greater success if you are focused and determined.
There has been some difficult and really challenging situations but somehow,we managed to pull through and deliver. Hopefully, there won’t be many stumbling blocks ahead but when they do come, I want to believe we are well equipped to overcome them. Giving up is and will never be an option no matter how hard the road is.